Stationary Stories

Polka Dot Praise Postcards were created to glorify The Lord (therefore a verse from His Holy Word is included on each), to delight the receiver with a hand written note (a dying art with the use of texting and computers), and to honor a few of the special people in my life by dedicating a postcard to them.

I think it’s important to write thank you notes, to write notes of encouragement, and to write notes of congratulations to show support and care. It is so nice to open the mailbox and find something fun other than a bill, a handwritten note that shows someone is thinking of you. Polka Dot Praise can help you accomplish this. There’s a cheerful photo on one side and room for a short note from you on the other side, along with a scripture. What better way to accomplish Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” What a great opportunity as a Mom to teach your children to say thank you to the giver of a gift. You can also make it a fun-learning lesson by allowing your child to select the post card they like best, then address and stamp the postcard, and walk it out to the mailbox. An attitude of gratitude is pleasing to The Lord.

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WORSHIP- The main goal of Polka Dot Praise is to glorify The Lord.

We glorify Him as we worship Him so I chose WORSHIP to be theme of the first post card.

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CELEBRATE- Celebrating the birth of the Polka Dot Praise Post Card Line. Thank you! The Lord is so good!

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CHAPEL- Dedicated to my precious husband, Les, on our 40th Wedding Anniversary, with his life verse.

The card pictures the Chapel in Yosemite where we were married.

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ANNIVERSARY-Dedicated to my beloved husband on our 40th Anniversary as we returned to the same room in which we held our wedding reception in at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. Family and friends surrounded us for a memory-making weekend. Thank you, Sweetheart, for being the president of my fan club and especially for your faithful and adoring love. I’ll love you forever!

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HALF DOME- The view of Half Dome from our balcony and the verse that came to mind when I saw this magnificent sight. (Believe it or not we even made it to the top of Half Dome one year!)

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FOREVER FRIENDS-Dedicated to my wonderful forever friend, Debbie, who has blessed my life in so many ways since our friendship blossomed in 1993. I used flowers from our garden in a vase she gave me, including her favorite sweet peas and a camellia because it is the official Temple City flower, which is where she lives with her husband, Gary, also a dear friend. I included her life verse on her card, as she is a lover of God’s Word. We used to meet weekly to pray for our children and she still remains my faithful prayer warrior. We have many traditions we love sharing, including birthday and Christmas lunches, but especially just being together. I love being in her presence whether it is during a high or low season of our lives. I have learned so much from her through the years and she has helped mold me into the woman I am today. She has brought much color and joy to my life. I love you and I will forever cherish the PRICELESS gift of your friendship!

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SUNRISE- Dedicated to my talented brother, Jerry, who captured this shot at sunrise from his home in Castro Valley. His verse is a powerful reminder that even in darkness The Lord brings light. Jerry is a retired fireman, gourmet cook, expert photographer, and excels in foreclosures. Actually, he excels in anything he tries, as he is very bright and capable. What a gift to have a big brother to protect me as I grew up. He still has my best interest at heart. Thanks Jerry. I love you.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY- Dedicated to my darling friend, Jill from New Mexico. We met when our husbands went through cancer treatment together several years ago and remain fast friends. We spend time together at lease twice a year plus stay closely in touch via email, text, and phone calls. We exchange our “traveling necklace”, which Jill made during their stay at Loma Linda, each year on one another’s birthdays. I put flowers from our garden in the vase she gave me for her special postcard. Jill is a retired teacher who now enjoys refinishing furniture for her antique business. She is so adorable and so special. We dearly love one another!

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TWO TIER-Dedicated to my remarkable friend, Geema. Whenever asked, “how are you?” through the years Geema has always answered, “I’m blessed”. She has had many trials to answer otherwise, but her heart has a continual feast of praise. Geema is a retired nurse who spends her time caring for others. She has a way of making me feel so special with her phone calls saying “you are so special, girl!” I love you Geema!

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TEA CART – Dedicated to my longtime and dear friend, MaryBeth. When we moved into our home of 24 years on Victoria Drive, Pasadena, MaryBeth and her husband, Jim, lived three doors away. We became very good friends and had the joy of raising our children together in the same great neighborhood. MaryBeth introduced me to the first Pasadena teahouse, Rose Tree Cottage, where she’d stop for tea many days on her way home from teaching school. She had a long career as a gifted teacher-kindergarten and special education. A post card with a tea setting was a must for her as she loves her trips to England and we enjoy catching up over tea.

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TEA AND THEE- Dedicated to my kindred spirit friend, Cathy. We both have a love for anything to do with tea and The Lord. She is partnering with me in a tea devotional book that shares a lot of who we are and The Lord we adore. Little did we know when we met in our Sierra Mare Church when their twins were toddlers that one day we’d both be living in Yucaipa and that the twins are now thinking “college”. We both feel blessed to share life “together” in the same city and cherish the gift of our friendship. Cathy is a dedicated home schoolteacher to her children, a talented artist, performer, baker, and the beautiful wife of her husband, Michael, who is also our cherished friend.

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ALMAND JOY DAHLIA – Dedicated to my beloved Mother Dear, Clara Almand, on her 90th birthday. Her card features my parent’s 1st dahlia introduction, Almand Joy. I will forever be grateful that when I was born The Lord placed me in her arms. Yes, my Mother Dear surpasses them all! She is loved and adored by our entire family and everyone who meets her. My husband always told me “you have all the wonderful characteristics of your Mother, except her stamina.” She has been one amazing woman for sure and a beautiful example to follow. She is interested in so many things and loves life, loves serving The Lord. The Lord gave me a wonderful gift when she moved to Yucaipa in 2006 so that we are able to enjoy everyday life together. We enjoy a cup of tea together each afternoon as we share the events of our day. I rise and call you blessed my precious Mother Dear! I LOVE YOU!

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STREAMS – Dedicated to our beloved son, Eddie, who has brought me incredible joy since the day he was born. His card was photographed at a special place to him and I quoted the life verse I claimed for him when he was young. I’ve learned so much from him and I admire and respect the man of integrity that he is. I love spending time with him! He always seems to “be there” when I need help, whether for advice, comfort, or moving in to help me care for Auntie Lou. He is a rock! He is the assistant athletic director at the high school where he attended high school and loves his work. I would brag on him more, but he’s very humble and I would be hearing him say “Mom!” I gave him post card number 13 because that has been his favorite number since he was young and that was the number on his soccer jersey. He blesses me in that I can claim 3 John l:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” I am proud and blessed to be his Mom! I will always give God thanks and praise for the precious gift of Eddie. Can’t imagine life without him. I LOVE YOU EDDIE!

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BLUE QUILT- Dedicated to my incredible friend, Jackie who has been a missionary in Africa and Thailand, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, gained a pilots license, was co-founder of Discover The World, and later in life received her PhD. in psychology. Her greatest value to me is as “friend” and for almost 40 years we have journeyed the highs and lows of life together. The blue quilt in her card is one of her family quilts that she gave me and the vase is also a gift from her. The blue and yellow theme is because she is a UCLA graduate, where she and her husband Doug met. She quoted Psalm 57:l over the phone to me many years ago during a trial and I never forgot it. I listen carefully when Jackie talks as I’ve learned so much from her. She is an amazing person, a faithful prayer warrior, and a beloved forever friend.

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KATHY JEAN DAHLIA- Dedicated to my beloved sister, Kathy whom I love and adore. She always wondered why our parents named an orange dahlia after her. I joked with her that after me growing and photographing her dahlia it’s no longer orange! Instead of singing my sister would always whistle so as I was reading from the book of Isaiah while we were waiting during her husband’s surgery I was thrilled to read to her that The Lord also whistles. My sweet sister is always there for me and is the V.P. of my fan club. Can’t imagine having done life without her. She has been my special gift from God for 63 years!

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CROSS VASE – Also dedicated to my sweet sister, Kathy. I had to dedicate two cards to her because she put up with sharing a room with me for our entire childhood until I married and moved away. She’s the best sister in the world! I put her Kathy Jean dahlias in a vase that I had made for a dear friend. The cross is a profound reminder to us both of The Savior’s love. We are held together by a protein molecule called lamina, which microscopically looks like crosses. So this verse from Colossians reminds me of lamina, the cross, and The One who holds us all together. I love you sweet sister.

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BIRD CROSS – Dedicated to my dear friend, Lillian. We met when our husbands went through proton treatment, but our friendship blossomed as we walked through a huge loss “together”. Lillian sees and appreciates every detail. It’s so fun to have her over for a simple cup of tea because she notices every detail I’ve gone to in trying to make it special for her. Lillian just retired from a career as a school counselor. She has a great sense of humor and is such fun to be with. This photo was taken in Richmond, Virginia, and I was thrilled to be able to capture a bird on the cross for my bird-loving friend. Yes, people may disappoint us, but The Lord’s love is from everlasting to everlasting!

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COLOR OF FRIENDSHIP- Dedicated to my Auntie Lou’s wonderful friends who richly colored her life, and who faithfully stood by her in her journey with cancer. The flowers are from our garden and the plumeria blossom is from the plant Auntie brought back from Hawaii one year. I put them in a vase from my sister, who is also grateful to all of Auntie’s friends. I saw in living color what friendship really is as I witnessed your love, devotion, and care towards our Auntie Lou. You are amazing and I give thanks to God for each of you! I am forever grateful! THANK YOU!

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GREEN STRIPED VASE- Dedicated to my dear friend, Roseann, whose friendship goes back many years as our families worshipped together at Bethany Church in Sierra Madre. Roseann is a talented, capable, and fun person. Her career as a school principal was cut short due to illness and Psalm 40 is the Psalm she clung to as she waited several years for a kidney donor. She handled this trial with faith, bravery, and a good spirit. I am so proud of her! Giving thanks and praise to God that He has restored her to health and answered her prayers so beautifully and for her beautiful family who supported her and loved her through; husband, Guillermo and children, Natali and Philip! What a precious family!

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LADY BUG VASE- Dedicated to my life-long and dear friend, Diane. We became fast friends as little girls as her family went to the same church as mine and we lived in the same neighborhood, and went to the same schools growing up. She was in my wedding and I was in hers and we named our daughter’s middle name after her. I put flowers from our garden in a darling vase (another dear friend gave me) with a ladybug, which was perfect for my friend because she is such a beautiful lady. I wanted to honor my precious friend at such a time as this, as she grieves the loss of her husband, Mike, also a lifelong friend. Mike was our pastor’s son, my brother’s good friend, and the love of Diane’s life. Diane lives in Texas but remains very close in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. Our love for The Lord and for each other has kept our friendship so dear.

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POLKA DOT TEA CUP – Dedicated to my very special friend, Gillian, for her birthday 2014. I always love to celebrate her life, as she is so special, full of joy, enthusiasm, and love. But after a bout with cancer I’m especially aware of the gift of her life, and therefore celebrate her birthdays with much thanksgiving. You cannot help but feel up when you are in Gillian’s presence as she is sheer joy. Even during cancer treatment she kept a positive attitude and worked all the way through treatment. She is a very talented lady, has run their company, but also loves simple things of life like planting flowers, growing grapes, raising donkeys, and chickens. Anyone who knows Gillian knows that family, friends, and The Lord are very important to her. I had to put her birthday flowers in a teacup to also honor her English Mum, Enid, who was also my friend, and is now rejoicing with Jesus in heaven. Thanks for the gift of your friendship Gillian!

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THE GIFT OF R.J.- Dedicated to my beloved (step) son, R.J. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him at ten years old. At age 13 he moved in with us and brought much joy and excitement into our home. He was (and is) the best big brother to Tupi and Eddie. I know he’d rather have a photo of a car or gun on his card, but I chose to put on display the beautiful Shelley teacups he purchased for me one year on my birthday. R.J.’s gift was so generous and thoughtful and I will always cherish them, but what I am most thankful for is “the gift of R.J.”, for he is a special gift from God. R.J. is talented, very bright, caring, and fun. In fact it’s rare to be around him and not be laughing. Even my Mother Dear says she loves to hear R.J. tell a story. He is also the most generous person I know. He is a wonderful Dad to Richard and Alex and a wonderful son to us. R.J., I’ve always loved you and I always will. Your WSM.

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BRIDE AND GROOM –Dedicated to Bob and Sandra, our cherished friends and ministry partners. Les and I worked together with these two dear friends for several years in marriage ministry at Bethany Church. Then when it was time for our daughters wedding they worked side by side us in the planning (even architect Bob drawing up the table seating for our large guest list), the setting up on the wedding date, and staying with us till 2:00 A.M. cleaning up after the reception. So it seemed appropriate to honor them with a photo I took on their daughters wedding day. Thanks for always being there with your love and support! We love you!

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HANGING FLOWERS – Dedicated to my cherished friend, Sandra. Sandra and I loved working together on women’s ministry. One of our beloved ministries was being charter Mentor Moms at MOPS. How we loved working alongside the younger moms! We hosted a day retreat for young women one year and the Mark 6:31 verse is what we put on the water bottles. Whenever I have a need; whether during illness or a move Sandra has been there. I know I can call and say, “help!” and she’d be there for me. That is a special friend. Sandra taught me the importance of getting away to a quiet place and getting rest in The Savior. I took this photo at their daughters wedding, held in the same yard Bob and Sandra were married in, Bob’s childhood home. Thanks Sandra for the sweet gift of your friendship!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS – Dedicated to my Heavenly Father who gave the best gift ever given, His Son, Jesus. He is the only gift I cannot live without.

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HE HAS RISEN – Dedicated to Jesus, the Messiah who took my sin to the cross. The Good News is He was victorious over sin and death. The empty tomb is my hope (and yours). The photo was taken at The Garden Tomb outside the city walls of Jerusalem. Les sent Mother and me on a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Land in 2007.

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HE HAS RISEN (but should be ROBIN’s NEST)- Dedicated to my beautiful and one a kind friend, Janine. I also call her my bird friend as she brought her bird book to Yosemite with us one year to check off any new birds she saw. Janine is the personality of any room. She is full of life, laughter, and love. She was a very good nurse, but now loves being retired and having time for all her art and craft projects, with which she is so talented. I was heart broken when she moved from Pasadena to Michigan to care for her father, but God’s plans are always the best. It was in Michigan she met the husband she had been praying for. So now we also have Ken as a cherished friend and have made fun memories together. And I think he even understands when Janine and I have four-hour phone conversations. Really good friends stay good friends even when they can’t live close. We just make an effort to stay connected and our friendship remains committed, precious, and vital. We know each other’s hearts and love each other dearly. Love you forever friend!

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JERUSALEM – In gratitude for God’s Holy Word. The end of the story is very good- Jesus is coming back for us! In gratitude to The Lord and to my dear husband, Les, for his sacrifice and hard work that paid to send Mother Dear and me on a trip of a life time to The Holy Lands. It brought the Bible alive seeing all the places I’ve read about all my life. I don’t think I will ever be the same. Thank you sweetheart!

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GET WELL SOON – Dedicated to my Mother Dear who nursed me back to health so lovingly from every childhood illness. I learned from your loving care a taste of my Heavenly Father’s love. Also dedicated to my beloved husband, Les, who has been a great care giver-to me, to our children, and to his patients.

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TALL TREES – Dedicated to John the Baptist who taught me from his quote in John 3:30 that “Jesus must become greater; I must become less.” Standing beside the giant sequoias in Yosemite is a profound reminder to me of this truth. The world would have us think it’s important to be big, but it’s good to feel small, for in that position I look up and realize what a BIG God I serve. I need to make each day about Him.

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ALIE’s HEART- Dedicated to Alison, my amazing friend, graphic designer, and web site designer. Without Alison, Polka Dot Praise would still be a dream of mine. She made it happen and along the way became invested in “our” project! I told Alison she could design this card any way she liked- even without polka dots if she liked. She chose the verse and this post card is Alison. She is one amazing woman who juggles so many responsibilities so beautifully. She is an awesome (single) Mother of three adorable children. She not only manages the household and all responsibilities, she knows each of her children extremely well and blesses them with a full and fun life. Alison is full of life, joy, creativity, all centered with a deep love for The Lord. She is truly amazing (and beautiful inside and out) and I love her!

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TUPI- Dedicated to our beloved daughter, Tupi. I gave her card #32 because it’s my favorite number (because we have 32 permanent teeth and I’m a dental hygienist and my husband is a dentist!) and she’s my favorite girl! The artwork on her card is from the children’s book I have written called “Adoption is Forever…and Ever.” The little girl in the artwork represents Tupi as the page says “Once Upon a Time There Lived a Very Special Little Girl Named Tupi.” And indeed she is very special! The book tells the story of waiting for her Prince Charming and then their journey of trusting as they waited for a child and how The Lord blessed them with two precious children – in His time. Roilyn is the name we gave her at birth as it combines both my husbands name and mine, but she quickly got the nickname of Tupi (long story), which we still call her today. Tupi lights up any room she enters-full of sunshine, excitement, joy, and love. She is one amazing person; wonderful daughter, loving and supportive wife, an awesome Mommy, and an incredible special Ed teacher. She has the biggest heart in the world and has never met a stranger. Her faith and trust in God was evident during her long wait to be a mother. She checks in on us every day in spite of her busy schedule and she is patient in teaching her Mama computer and phone skills. We know how to have a good laugh together and that is a gift. Tupi is one of a kind and I can’t imagine life or this world without her. She loves The Lord and it shows, as she is beautiful inside and out. I love you with all my heart sweet daughter!

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THE GOOD SHEPHERD- Dedicated to Doug, our dear forever friend of almost 40 years. We met Doug when he was in seminary and have shared the road of life together as closest friends ever since. He has performed the weddings of two of our children and been by our side for all the highs and lows of life. He pastored my beloved Auntie as she walked through the valley of the shadow of death and she joined him in quoting the 23rd Psalm, which I will never forget. Besides pastoring several churches Doug has been a missionary in Africa and Thailand and founder of “Discover The World” and “ The Shepherds Home” in Kenya. I had to use the 23rd Psalm for his card because it is so fitting for him. And I chose to use artwork from my Adoption Is Forever book because he has a heart for orphans, which is why he started The Shepherds Home, and he and his wife also adopted their sons. He has shepherded several churches, has a shepherds heart, and his hope is in The Good Shepherd. The Lord has used him in so many ways, in our lives and countless others. We are blessed to call this gifted and special man our forever friend! Love you Doug!

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GET WELL- Dedicated to my nurturing and lovely friend, Nina. Since Nina is a nurse (and was the Parish Nurse at the church we attended together) and such a good caretaker of her family and friends I wanted a get well card in her honor. She was also so supportive of our daughter in her waiting for children I knew Nina would be touched to have her card be art work from the book, Adoption Is Forever, our family’s story. Nina has always been available for support and love, even willing to make the long drive for visits after we moved to Yucaipa. (Nina’s husband, Tim, has also given his time and talents when we really needed contractor help.) A visit with Nina, whether in person or on the phone, is a very special treat indeed for she is full of warmth and joy. Our friendship still remains cherished long distance as they now live in Iowa. Nina is the only friend to give me a nickname, Lynn. I love it! I love her!

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SHOES – Dedicated to my life of faith friend, Sandi. Sandi sought after me as a friend many years ago, which touched my heart and she made a huge impact on my life. She always said she became a better Jew once she became a Christian because she got into God’s Word and learned of her heritage. Her love for The Lord and His Word was (and is) contagious and she was the one who encouraged me to get into Bible Study. She started me down a path of commitment to studying God’s Word, which I excitedly remain on. I chose to honor Sandi by using artwork from our family’s story in the book Adoption Is Forever because she related personally to our daughters desire for children and the waiting process. I chose the painting of shoes and the Psalm 119 verse because it was Sandi who put my feet on the right path, for which I am eternally grateful. A talented attorney, editor, company organizer; there’s nothing Sandi can’t accomplish (because she knows just Who she can call on!). I can hear her special cheerful voice all the way from Tennessee! Love you dear friend.

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POLKA DOT SHOES – Dedicated to Mrs. (Alma) Reardon, my 4th and 5th grade teacher and my all time favorite teacher. She was the strictest teacher I had and therefore the one from whom I learned the most. She taught us to love books by reading to us after coming in from lunch. I remember being fascinated as she read The Secret Garden to our class and I couldn’t wait for the next days reading. We learned the importance of following rules from her and Mrs. Reardon helped to nurture not only good students, but also responsible future citizens. She stretched me in ways she knew this shy little girl needed by having me sing a solo of O Little Town of Bethlehem in class (which provided for a life time of laughs as I recall a classmate saying afterward, “Good job, but you warble too much!) Mrs. Reardon was a San Leandro treasure, devoting her entire teaching career to Garfield Grammar School and then continuing to substitute teach there well into her eighties. She helped to guide my little feet on a path of love for learning, reading, and a walk of integrity, therefore I chose Proverbs 4:26 to honor this very special person in my life. I used the artwork from the children’s book I wrote, Adoption Is Forever…and Ever for Mrs. Reardon’s card because I knew she would be proud of me for writing a book that can be read to children, the focus of her life. Mrs. Reardon, thank you for being such a wonderful influence in my life. I give thanks to God for you!

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GWYN’S VASE – Dedicated to my childhood friend, Gwyn Chenoweth. We met in kindergarten and shared many wonderful childhood adventures together growing up. We walked and rode our bikes to the Bay and throughout Mulford Gardens and had many fun sleepovers at each other’s houses. We made perfume using some of her Mother’s perfume we poured into water and earrings made out of wire the telephone company left behind and tried to sell them both in the neighborhood. We formed ”The Lucky Club” for which we were the only members. Our club first met in the old chicken coop in our backyard then progressed to the bird Avery when my Dad stopped raising parrakeets. It had a cement floor so we really felt we had a palace. We had a wooden folder tied with leather straps and the words “The Lucky Club” engraved into the wood. I do not have a clue what we wrote in the pages inside, but it was top secret. I used to put our children to bed at night telling them some of my childhood stories. They would always say, “Tell us another Gwyn Chenoweth and I story!” There are far too many stories to share here, but needless to say Gwyn has a special place in my heart. I’m not even sure if Gwyn realizes just how special a person she is, but this friend does, and of course Almighty God, who created her, does. I used a vase that I had a potter make for her (with her name imprinted on the back) on the card in her honor. It seemed so appropriate to put a Linda Almand dahlia, introduced by my parents, into the Gwyn Chenoweth vase to say thank you Gwyn for being my very special friend in grammar school. Thank you for being my friend today. I think you are extra special, I will always cherish our friendship, and I love you.

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CANCER HOPE –  Dedicated to my beloved Auntie Lou. Auntie Lou has always been very special to me. As a little girl I wanted to emulate her. She drank hot milk at night, so I wanted to do the same, even though I don’t even like cold milk. I thought there was no one more beautiful, intelligent, or special than my Auntie. She never had children of her own, therefore she loved on her nieces and nephews as her own. There was never a doubt but that she loved us. My sister, cousins, and I had wonderful summer adventures staying at her house in Southern California. In fact the year we went when I was sixteen she gave me a quick lesson in driving a stick shift then let me use her car to drive us all over. The only problem was she didn’t teach me about down shifting so I would stall at every stop sign and rattle coming into the driveway late at night. My sister and cousins spent their time on the floorboard in embarrassment, but there was no place for me to hide! Auntie Lou was there for me throughout my life, giving her love and support to my husband, our children, and me. We loved sharing “life” together. When she was diagnosed with cancer I joined her for her treatment appointments and we turned those appointments into fun as we shared lunch afterwards, then after I moved to Yucaipa we had a sleepover at her house the night before. Treatment worked for several years, but then the cancer spread and Auntie had chemo after chemo trying to stop this beast called cancer. She was the most amazing trouper through the whole journey. She never gave up hope and had a joy filled outlook the entire time. The day came when there was nothing else that could be done so we brought her to her home on Hospice. She wasn’t expected to have much time left, but had a turn around, and we had two wonderful and amazing months at her side. Just when I thought I could not love her any more I fell in love with her more as I spent 24/7 with her for those last two months. Then just as I thought I could never love her more I fell more in love with her as I went through her belongings getting her house ready to be sold. I loved how she saved every note I ever sent to her, every gift. I loved seeing how organized she was and how beautifully she folded her sheets and towels. Everything she touched was done to perfection. I will never stop loving my beloved Auntie Lou or giving thanks to God for blessing me with her and her love. Even though Auntie did not have breast cancer I chose pink for her card to be able to encourage several friends I have that do have breast cancer and to serve as a sweet reminder that there is always hope, which is how she lived. I learned so much from Auntie Lou on joyous and generous living as well as gracious and peaceful dying. She was a treasure to our entire family and will never be forgotten. I’ll love you forever Auntie!

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LINDA ALMAND DAHLIA Dedicated to my father, Jack Almand who went home to be with The Lord in 1998. As a child I always thought my Dad was so brave, not just because he fought in WWII, but because he rescued me as a little girl from the sandbox whose lid had collapsed on me and then proved his bravery many times during my growing up years. For example, like the night I called him in fear from my friend’s house when we were there alone babysitting her siblings and saw a man’s arm unscrewing the front porch light bulb. He came over immediately and searched the entire back yard until he was sure that we were not in harms way. He was a very hard worker. When he started his own carpet cleaning business he also took on evening janitorial jobs and early morning paper routes to support his family of five. I learned good work ethics from him and the importance of honesty. What started as a hobby for him turned into a passion and a business as he hybridized and grew dahlias. During his lifetime he introduced 95 new varieties of these beautiful flowers. He and my Mother had 3,000 dahlia plants in their back yard in San Leandro, California and for several years also grew them in neighbors’ back yards who had space. During the growing season he spent hours watering, spraying, disbudding, as well as cutting and delivering to florists. When the season ended he then dug up each one, separated the tubers, then labeled and stored them. When that job was completed then he and my Mother made up their catalogue, which they mailed out. My Dad then rototilled the entire property and hand planted another 3,000 bulbs. It was a year round job, but one that he dearly loved. My husband and I have trouble keeping our few dahlias alive and well so it boggles my mind how my Dad kept up so many and did such a marvelous job. People came from all over to learn from him and he was always more than happy to share his knowledge. Each member of our family has a dahlia named after them. I have two, Linda Carol and Linda Almand, both of which are yellow. At my father’s memorial service I asked everyone to stand after whom he had named a dahlia. It was a delight for our family to see! There are several dahlia gardens that still sell my Dad’s dahlias so his legacy lives on. I am so proud of the accomplishments he made during his 78 years. I love you Dad!

SHEEP. Dedicated to Elizabeth Inrig. After living in the San Gabriel Valley for thirty years we moved to Yucaipa in The Inland Empire to be closer to my husband’s work as a professor at Loma Linda Dental School. We were part of a church plant near our home for several years then began worshipping at Trinity EV Free Church in Redlands. Pastor Gary Inrig was an amazing Bible scholar, teacher, and preacher. His wife, Elizabeth, led the women’s ministry and was the most knowledgeable Bible teacher I have ever studied under. She poured her life into the lives of the women at our church, and she was dearly loved and respected by us all.

I’ve often said that if the only reason to move from our home in Sierra Madre was to be under Elizabeth’s tutelage it would have been worth it. She has been especially significant in my understanding of scripture.

After twenty years of ministry at Trinity Church Gary and Elizabeth retired. The five years I had under Elizabeth were far too short for me, but I’m eternally grateful for the time I had with her. As I study God’s Word today I can still hear some of Elizabeth’s teachings: “Words matter” and “Context is everything”.

Since one of the studies Elizabeth wrote and led us in was the Gospel of John I thought it would be appropriate to use a scripture on her postcard from this, my favorite New Testament book. Elizabeth taught this little sheep so much and guided me on a path of following The Good Shepherd more closely that I will forever remain on.

Elizabeth, you have been a rich blessing in my life and I will always give God thanks for bringing you into my life and for the impact you made on me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

TEA FOR TWO. Dedicated to The Lord, with a very grateful heart, for choosing to answer our prayers in such a delightful way, by blessing our family with two precious and adored children, Chase and Noelle. It was a long wait for them and then another long wait as we anticipated a court date for the adoption to become final. April 19, 2013 was well worth waiting for as we surrounded the happy family of four while the judge announced “adoption is forever”. As we drove to San Diego that day to be in court I claimed Psalm 126:3 from the NIV, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Yes, we were, and yes we still are filled with great joy as our entire family loves sharing life with our precious Chase and Noelle. What better photo on this card with their verse than the two of them all dolled up for their Ninnie at a Tea Party. Thank you Lord for the priceless gift of our grandchildren!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. I am so happy to dedicate this postcard to our daughter, Tupi (Roilyn), who is not only a wonderful daughter, but an amazing Mommy. With the dedication of this card I honor her as Mommy to Chase and Noelle. My Mother’s heart ached as we journeyed with her in the long season of infertility. As we all prayed for “a” child for her and her husband, Jimmy, we clung to expectant hope as we waited to see how The Lord would choose to answer our prayers. On April 19, 2013 God’s answer to our many years of praying came with the adoption of “two” absolutely precious children, whom we can’t imagine life without. Tupi’s experience as a special education teacher has equipped her to help with Chase’s special needs and her high energy has allowed her to give fully to her children even after a long day of teaching. The children’s adoration of and attachment to her speaks loudly to the Mommy she is.

I applaud you sweet daughter for the wonderful Mother that you are! Happy Mother’s Day, today, and always. I love you! Your Mama

 

THE LORD DELIVERS. Psalm 34:7 (“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them”) became very special to me during a difficult season of life. In a short amount of time I had to say good-bye to my father (from lung cancer), to my profession as a registered dental hygienist (because of health issues), and then to our home of 24 years. We moved our dental office to a smaller space, sold our home, and turned our dental office into our home. The season of saying good-bye to “home” and remodeling the dental office into our new home was surprisingly difficult for me. During the three month remodel I began to claim Psalm 34:7 and pictured The Lord setting up His tent on our front yard. I hadn’t realized that I had put my security in a house made of wood, but The Lord knew. I had always said I was storing up my riches in heaven, but when I had to give up the home, where our children were raised and was my nest, I learned I needed to give feet to my words. My security is in Jesus and He goes wherever I go, so six yeas later when we moved to a new area I did not cling to the house and area I had come to enjoy, but I willingly went where The Lord led. This time I went with a joyful and grateful heart, not a broken heart like I had done previously.

I am grateful for that challenging season, as I learned to trust fully in The One who will never leave nor forsake me. The Lord

Definitely encamped around me during a difficult season and He delivered me, therefore I dedicate this card, with much love and gratitude, to my Savior, who continues to teach and mold me, and who is patient and never gives up on me. My hope and trust is in Him.

 

SHOW & TELL DAHLIA. This postcard is dedicated to our very special son-in-law, Jimmy. We prayed for our daughter’s life mate for years (as did my friend Debbie and I as we met each week to pray for our children). It was a joy to see the answer to our prayers on April 17, 2004, as The Lord unveiled Jimmy Tyner as Tupi’s Prince Charming and beloved husband. It was most important to me to see the look on the groom’s face as soon as he saw the bride, our daughter, begin down the aisle. I was not disappointed as I saw the awe of Tupi on Jimmy’s face as she proceeded down the aisle, singing to him. To know your daughter is loved and cherished by her husband is indeed a priceless gift to parents. I will always be grateful to Jimmy for giving us this gift. As the bride and groom held hands and faced the pastor (our dear friend Doug Millham) he said “welcome to the wonderful world of Jimmy and Roilyn Tyner!” We’ve referred to that greeting often as their lives have been anything but dull. From vacationing in Thailand, to fixing up an old boat as a residence (which they ended up selling before actually moving in. Shows all that’s important to Tupi is to be with Jimmy), to quitting their jobs and traveling for four months in their bus converted into a cozy pine cabin, to the ups and downs of infertility and adoption, to raising their two precious children as they juggle full time careers, Jimmy and Tupi’s life is full and there is never a dull moment.

I’ve grown to not only love Jimmy, but to respect him. He always puts God first, then our daughter. He is a wonderful Daddy to Chase and Noelle and has done all the chauffeuring of the kids to wherever they needed to be while Tupi was teaching (one pre-school year Chasey was in three different schools!). I don’t think Jimmy had ever changed a diaper before 18 month and 7 month old Chase and Noelle arrived, then he changed more diapers than he probably cares to remember.

Jimmy began their marriage in full time ministry with Young Life. He now volunteers with Young Life on a weekly basis, as he manages his real estate business and many other ventures. Jimmy is our family entrepreneur and currently has a Burrito Box business he manages along with everything else he does. He is very intelligent and I think he can accomplish anything he sets out to accomplish. To help in his Dad’s business he got a contractors license and then of course has his real estate and brokers license. Although Les (my husband) graduated from USC Dental School it wasn’t until Jimmy joined our family that Les started watching the USC games because Jimmy is an ardent Trojan fan (he even stayed at USC one extra semester so he could have one more football season). Tupi’s perfect wedding gift to him was to have the USC Trojan marching band play at their wedding reception.

This gives you a brief description of the man we are grateful for and that is a very important part of our family. I chose to put my parent’s dahlia, Show N Tell, on Jimmy’s postcard as it is his favorite dahlia because of its USC colors. I’m sure if my Dad had known Jimmy at the time he introduced it he would have named it Jimmy Tyner. I used the verse my Mother claimed for Jimmy and wrote on his cake the night we had a prayer meeting to launch Jimmy into full time ministry.

Jimmy, know you are dearly loved and appreciated and we are so happy you are our daughters’ husband and our son-in-law!

 

TEEPEE TIME. Dedicated to our precious grandchildren, Chase and Noelle. I fell in love with them both at first sight, one beautiful 4th of July when they were 18 months and 7 months old. Tupi bought special red, white, and blue outfits for them as we all went to the Coronado parade. Noelle was content to be in Les’ lap for the entire three hour parade, just loving being held. Chasey took turns sitting on Tupi’s lap and mine as he sat so still enjoying all the sights and sounds of the parade. We prayed they would return to stay, which they did and thus began our family story. We then prayed the adoption would be final and after two years of being a family they were officially declared family by the State of California. We’ll never stop giving thanks to God for His answer to our prayers and for these two beautiful children. Grannie became “Ninnie” to these darlings as I drove to San Diego each week to babysit them as I had the joy of witnessing their first steps, first words, and first teeth. They constantly do and say things that delight me and this Ninnie could go on and on about them, but I will control myself and share just two recent things that touched my heart and give you an idea of how special they are. One day recently Noelle said to Tupi, “Mommy, do you know why I love Ninnie so much? Because she loves Jesus!” And after being with them the first week of school Chasey had a hard time saying good-bye to me. He wanted to know when I was coming back and gave me the tightest hug and big kiss on my arm, then he wept. As I pulled out the driveway and down the street he gave me the I love you sign with the saddest face ever. Ahh, to be loved by these two precious children is one delightful gift! I can not imagine life without these two. They bring such joy into our lives.

Chasey and Noelle, Your Papa and Ninnie will love you forever!

(You can find their adoption story, Adoption Is Forever…and Ever, on Amazon. It is written as a children’s book and is of course by their Ninnie).

(IMAGE COMING SOON!)

MY SHEEP. I’ve had some wonderful mentors in my life. I was thinking of dedicating this postcard to one who has been especially significant in my understanding of scripture. Then one day as I was enjoying an intimate moment with The Savior on a rainy day in Yosemite, I realized that the mentor who has impacted my life the most and whose life I need to strive to emulate is The Good Shepherd Himself. If I look at Jesus’ 33 years on this earth and listen to what He said and watch how He reacted to people and circumstances, and then strive for His example, my life will glorify Him. So while I am still eternally grateful for the people in my life that have blessed me, this Good Shepherd card has to be dedicated to the only mentor I can not live without, Jesus. Because He is my Good Shepherd, I will not be in want, no matter the circumstances.

A huge thank you to my dear friend, Marcia Throop, who took this photo while on vacation on the Danube. I love how the real life shepherd in the photo is looking over his flock. It is my reminder that The Good Shepherd is watching over His flock, you and me. There is nothing going on in our lives that He is not aware of. We have the choice to stay close by Him or to wander off on our own. Scripture tells us of His care for His flock, as He leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the one lost sheep. This is the Shepherd I want to follow. This is my Shepherd, Jesus Christ, whom I love and dedicate this card to, and to whom I long to glorify.

 

ANNIVERSARY BLESSINGS. Dedicated to our special friends, Jim and Kathy Watson. We first met in our Encourager Sunday School class at Bethany Church before they married, and then had the joy of attending their wedding in 1995. We have worked in ministry together, shared many fun adventures, and have walked together through trying times. Jim and Kathy are the kind of friends who not only are there for the fun times, but show up when we need help (like taking our family hutch out of our soon to be sold home and creating it into a free standing unit so it can move with us, helping in the remodel, helping in two moves, helping me unload all my supplies at Paz Naz where I launched Polka Dot Praise at their Christmas Boutique, and then sitting with me for two days during the Boutique, etc., etc.). I was especially touched with their recent visit when they revealed their hand made gift of love. Kathy has become a very good quilter. She brought home some new fabric and Jim said, “That looks like Linda!” Kathy agreed and put her time and talent into making me the beautiful quilt you see on this card. Since we worked together on a marriage ministry and since we’ve observed their dedication to glorify God in their marriage, it seems appropriate to create an Anniversary card in their honor. So for their Anniversary gift I dedicate this card to two very precious (and appreciated) forever friends. I love you Jim and Kathy!